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    Portland Trail Blazers

    Portland Trail Blazers

    The Portland Trail Blazers is a professional American basketball team based in Portland, Oregon, and is simply called the Blazers. The Trail Blazers compete in the National Basketball Association, as a part of the NBA's Western Conference Northwest Division. The team played its home games in the Memorial Coliseum before moving to Moda Center in 1995. Between 1977 to 1995, the franchise sold out 814 straight home games, the longest such streak in all professional sports in America at the time, and only since the Boston Red Sox surpassed that, the club entered the league as an expansion team in 1970. The Trail Blazers became the last NBA team located in the bi-national Pacific Northwest, after the Vancouver Grizzlies relocated to Memphis and became the Memphis Grizzlies in 2001 and the Seattle SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008. Sports promoter Harry Glickman desired the National Basketball Association's Portland franchise as far back as 1955, where he suggested two new expansion teams, the other one located in Los Angeles. As the Coliseum Memorial opened in 1960, Glickman saw the potential it could bring as a professional basketball venue, but it wasn't until February 6, 1970, that the NBA's board of directors gave him the rights to a Portland franchise. Glickman partnered with the real estate magnates of New Jersey's Robert Schmertz, Los Angeles 'Larry Weinberg, and Seattle's Herman Sarkowsky to receive the $3.7 million entrance fee funds. Two weeks later, on 24 February, team members held a contest to select the project name and received more than 10,000 submissions. "Pioneers" was the most popular choice, but that name was omitted from the list because it was already used by the Lewis & Clark College in Portland for sports teams. The name "Trail Blazers" earned 172 entries and was ultimately chosen by the reviewing jury and revealed on March 13 at the Memorial Coliseum in the half-time of a SuperSonics contest. Driven by explorers constructing trails through the mountains through the trail burning process, Glickman named it a name that could "represent both the ruggedness of the Pacific Northwest and the beginning of a major league era in our community. In Portland, the name Trail Blazers became popular in the middle of the initial mixed reaction, often shortened to simply "Blazers." During the 1980s the team became a consistent presence in the NBA each season, failing to qualify for the playoffs alone in 1982. However, they never advanced beyond the semi-finals of the conference during the decade. During the decade, the Los Angeles Lakers dominated the NBA's Pacific Division, and only the Lakers and the Houston Rockets represented the Western Conference in the NBA Finals. Core players for the Blazers during the early 1980's included Mychal Thompson, Billy Ray Bates, Fat Lever, Darnell Valentine, Wayne Cooper, T. R. Dunn, Jim Paxson, and Calvin Natt. The Blazers finished the 2014 season with 21 more wins than the previous season, which led to the largest single-season improvement in franchise history. This involves a November run in which they played 11 straight games and 13–2 overall during the month that coach Terry Stotts took off the Coach Month honors. On 12 December 2013, Aldridge scored 31 points and pulled down 25 rebounds against the Rockets in a home game, the first time a Trail Blazers player posted a 30-point, 25-rebound result. On 14 December 2013, the Blazers made a franchise record 21 3-pointers against the Philadelphia 76ers. 19 days later, they tied the current record against the Charlotte Bobcats, becoming the first NBA player to score 20 or more three-pointers in a game more than once in a season. Lillard was named as a starter to his first All-Star game, joining Aldridge in representing Portland at the tournament. Portland had finished 54–28, securing a fifth seed in the playoffs against the Rockets. The squad also shot 81.5 percent at the free throw line, made 770 three-pointers, and played four positions in all 82 regular-season games, all franchise records.
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    Toronto Raptors

    Toronto Raptors

    The Toronto Raptors is a professional Canadian basketball team, based in Toronto. The Raptors compete in the National Basketball League, as a member of the nba's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. They play their home games at Arena Scotiabank where they compete with the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League. The band was formed in 1995, along with the Vancouver Grizzlies, as part of the expansion of the NBA into Canada. Since the 2001–02 season when the Grizzlies relocated from Vancouver to Memphis, Tennessee, the Raptors were the only Canadian-based team in the League. After Carter had resigned Chris Bosh emerged as Team Leader. Bryan Colangelo was named general manager for the 2006–07 season, and the Raptors qualified in five years for their first playoff berth to win the Atlantic Division title with a mix of Bosh, 2006 first overall draft picker Andrea Bargnani and a roster revamp. In the 2007–08 season they qualified for the playoffs but struggled to reach the post-season in each of the next 5 seasons. Colangelo overhauled the squad's roster for the 2009–10 season in an effort to persuade potential free agent Bosh to return, but Bosh left to sign with the Miami Heat in July 2010, starting another phase of rebuilding for the Raptors. Masai Ujiri succeeded Colangelo in 2013 and helped usher in a new growth era, headed by a backcourt pair, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. The Raptors returned to the playoffs the next year and were a consistent playoff team every year of Ujiri's tenure. Under Ujiri, the team won five Division championships, and recorded their most productive regular season in 2018. However, the team's failure to reach the NBA Finals resulted in Ujiri fire head coach Dwane Casey at the conclusion of the 2018 playoffs, and conduct the high-profile swap of DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green later that year, as well as acquiring Marc Gasol before the trade deadline. The Raptors won their first crown in the 2019 playoffs in the Eastern Division, and advanced to their first NBA finals where they earned their first NBA championship. Initially, the team's first logo portrayed an furious, red Velociraptor wearing white shoes and bare toe claws dribbling a basketball, inspired by the Jurassic Park film's popularity and the appeal of dinosaurs to younger audiences who would grow up as franchise fans. Orange, soft gold, black and "True Naismith" became the squad's original colors. The logo proved to be very popular with fans, as by the end of 1994 the Raptors were seventh in merchandise sales in the league. For the 2008−09 season, the franchise dropped the purple hue from the original logo, making bright red the primary hue of both the team's logo and jerseys. On December 19, 2014, the Toronto Raptors released a new primary logo, which the team described as "a triangular shield with a ball torn by an unmistakable assault by a Raptor" The Toronto Raptors used different court art throughout the history of the organization. The Raptors used the Huskies logo for retro games, so long as the Raptors are among the NBA's newest teams. The Raptors will use the Welcome Toronto logo in some titles beginning in early 2018, since the Raptors share strong relations with Toronto-based rapper Drake, as well as the 3D Raptors logo. Also printed on the courthouse are the name and logo of Scotiabank partner Tangerine Bank. The Raptors jerseys debuted during the 1995–96 season, and worn until 1999, had black and white tears as pinstripes, edgy asymmetric lettering, a raptor claw on one side of the pants, and a raptor on the other side biting the 'T' of the 'TR' franchise logo; and featured a red giant and aggressive Velociraptor dribbling a basketball in the middle of the shirt. The Raptors unveiled some new uniforms in 1999−2000, revealing a distinctive road jacket with a purple forehead and a black back. In 2003−04, the Raptors unveiled a solid red alternate which would become the main road jersey in 2006−07 when purple was dropped from the club's color scheme. From 2008−09 to 2014−15, the Raptors unveiled their alternate black road uniforms which were in turn worn as often as the original red ones.
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    Utah Jazz

    Utah Jazz

    The Utah Jazz is a Salt Lake City based amateur, American basketball team. The Jazz play as a part of the National Basketball Association's Western Conference, Northwest Division of the nba. Since 1991 the team has played their home games at the Vivint Smart Home Arena. The franchise started playing as an expansion team for New Orleans Jazz in 1974. The Jazz moved to Salt Lake City in 1979. The Jazz has been one of the most successful teams in the League in their early years. Though ten seasons went by in 1984 before the Jazz qualified for their first playoff appearance, they did not miss the playoffs again until 2004. During the late 1980s, John Stockton and Karl Malone debuted as franchise stars of the organization, establishing one of NBA's most influential point guard – power forward duets. Driven by coach Jerry Sloan who took over from Frank Layden in 1988, they were one of the top teams of the 1990s, resulting in two NBA Finals appearances in 1997 and 1998, where they both lost to the Chicago Bulls of Michael Jordan. Stockton and Malone both moved on in 2003. The Jazz came back to prominence under point guard Deron Williams on-court coaching, after skipping the playoffs for three consecutive seasons. But the Jazz started reconstruction partially during the 2010–11 season, after Sloan's retirement and Williams 'trade to the New Jersey Nets. Quin Snyder had been hired to become the head coach in June 2014. With Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert developing into All-Stars, the team is once again seen as a potential championship challenger. During the jazz age in New Orleans from 1974 to 1979 the home uniform was white with gold accents, a purple "Jazz" script and purple numbers. The road uniform was purple with gold trimming, white "Jazz" writing, and white numbers. The Franchise's original violet gold and green shades are the most associated with New Orleans 'Mardi Gras. When the band moved to Utah in 1979 the Jazz made small changes to the jerseys. The home jerseys stayed the same through the 1986–87 season, with the word "Utah" being added to the logo on the middle side. The road uniforms were changed to dark green with the aforementioned Jazz logo on the middle chest and gold numbers. For the 1984–85 season, they were changed back to violet, this time with gold numbers and white padding, along with the addition of the word 'Utah' on the logo. Such uniforms were worn up until the 1995–96 season. For the 1996–97 season, the Jazz radically revamped their uniforms and jerseys with a new palette of red, gold, and turquoise colors. Their new uniform kit featured a middle chest Wasatch Range silhouette, with a modern stylish Jazz script and violet and turquoise details. The white mountain range gradually transforms to violet just above the white numbers on the purple road top, with copper interior trim and teal outline. The house white jersey numbers are red, with white interior trim and teal outline. The Jazz took on these uniforms before the 2003–04 season. The Jazz also debuted a new black uniform in the 1998–99 season with the jazz script on the middle shoulder, but without the outline of the Wasatch Series. Both the jazz script and numbers on this jersey are white, with purple interior trim and copper border, and side panels in copper. The uniform was worn until the 2003–04 season. In the 2004–05 season, the Jazz redesigned their color scheme, badges, and uniforms again. The team's new paint scheme used until the end of the 2009–10 season consisted of dark blue, light blue, silver and purple but the latter colour was used primarily on the primary and secondary logos. The squad logo stayed essentially the same except for the new color change. The new home uniform consisted of a revamped "Jazz" script on the middle collar in navy blue, with marine numbers each featuring silver interior trim and powder blue outline. The new road uniform was navy blue, on the middle collar with a powder blue "Utah" script, and powder blue numbers, with silver outline and white interior trim.
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    Washington Wizards

    Washington Wizards

    The Washington Wizards is an American professional basketball team based in Washington, D.C. As a member of the Southeast Division of the league's Eastern Conference, the Wizards compete in the National Basketball Association. The squad plays their home games at Capital One Arena, in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The franchise was established as Chicago Packers based in Chicago, Illinois in 1961, and was renamed Chicago Zephyrs the following season. In 1963 they moved to Baltimore, Maryland and became the Baltimore Bullets, taking the same name from an earlier team. In 1973 the team changed its name to the Capital Bullets to reflect their move to the metropolitan city of Washington, and then to the Washington Bullets the next season. They were rebranded as the Wizards in 1997. The team now known as the Wizards started in 1961 as the Chicago Packers and was the first modern expansion franchise in the NBA's history, a move influenced by Abe Saperstein's American Basketball League. Rookie Walt Bellamy was the franchise leader, averaging 31.6 points per game, 19.0 assists per game, and leading the NBA in the number of goals in the field. Bellamy represented the team when scoring 23 points during the All-Star game and gathering 17 rebounds. Bellamy was named the league of the Year's Rookie but the team finished with the NBA's worst record at 18-62. In the late 1960s the Bullets picked two former members of the Hall of Fame: Earl Monroe, in the 1967 draft, number two overall, and Wes Unseld, in the 1968 draft, number two overall. The squad rose steadily from 36 previous season wins to 57 in the 1968–69 season, and both rookie the year and MVP honors were given to Unseld. The Bullets entered the semifinals, with high aspirations to go forward but were stopped by the New York Knicks in the first round. The two teams met again the next season in the first round, and although this one went through seven rounds, the Knicks once again emerged victorious. Owner Abe Pollin announced in November 1995 that he was changing the team's slogan because Bullets had acquired violent overtones that had made him increasingly uneasy over the years, particularly given the high homicide and crime rate in Washington, D.C. Via the early 1990s. Since retiring from the Chicago Bulls in early 1999, Michael Jordan became the Washington Wizards director of basketball operations, as well as a minority owner, in January 2000. In September 2001 Jordan returned from retirement at the age of 38 to play for Washington. Jordan said he was coming back "for the love of the game." Because of NBA rules, he had to deprive himself of all control of the franchise. Jordan was one of only two players to score more than 25 points, 5 assists, and 5 steals before the All-Star break as he led the Wizards to a record of 26–21. After the All-Star break, Jordan's knee couldn't bear the full-season workload and he started on the season's disabled list and the Wizards ended the season with a 37–45 record. Since relocating from Chicago in 1963 the then-Baltimore Bullets used red and navy colors as part of the team's logos and uniforms. In 1969 the club changed its colors to white and gold. The colors red, white, and blue returned as part of the franchise's signature uniforms beginning with the 1973–74 season, coinciding with the team's move to Landover, Maryland to become the Capital Bullets. Such uniforms also featured big horizontal bars on the collar of the shirts, and three stars on the side panels of the trousers. The uniforms were maintained until a year ago their positioning code was passed to the Washington Bullets. The Bullets maintained the "Stars and Stripes" look until 1987, but they made a small adjustment with new horizontal lines, the "Bullets" logo on the right side, and slim shorts that replaced the three triangles prior to the 1985–86 season. In 1987, the Bullets changed their logo and uniforms, going home down the lane with red uniforms, and white uniforms.
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    Phoenix Suns

    Phoenix Suns

    The Phoenix Suns is a professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona, United States. As a member of the NBA Western Conference Pacific Division, the Suns compete in the National Basketball Association, and are the only non-California team in their division. The Suns play in their home For the remainder of the 1980s, despite unable to win a championship, the Suns would rebound around Walter Davis until Kevin Johnson was added in 1988. Under Johnson, and after trading for the perennial NBA All-Star Charles Barkley and combining with the success of Tom Chambers and Dan Majerle, the Suns reached the playoffs for thirteen consecutive franchise record appearances and remained a consistent title contender in the 1990s, reaching the NBA Finals in 1993. However, the team will fail to win a title again and by the early part of the 2000s entered another period of mediocrity. games at the Talking Stick Resort Arena. The franchise began playing as an expansion team in 1968 and their early years were shrouded in mediocrity, but their fortunes changed in the 1970s, when the Suns reached the 1976 NBA Finals after partnership with Paul Westphal, the long-term guard Dick Van Arsdale and Alvan Adams center, in what is considered one of the biggest upsets in NBA history. The Suns acquired Steve Nash in 2004, and he soon returned to playoff contention. With Nash, Shawn Marion, and Amar'e Stoudemire, and head coach Mike D'Antoni, the Suns were renowned worldwide for their fast, explosive offense that led them to tie a franchise record in wins in the 2004–05 season. Two more top two placements followed for the Tournament, once again the Suns failed to attain an NBA championship and were forced to rebuild. The Suns own the NBA's seventh-best all-time winning percentage, and have the second-highest winning percentage of all players to have never won an NBA championship. Two Suns, Barkley and Nash, were named the NBA Most Valuable Player for playing for the club. For the first eleven seasons of their tenure in the NBA the Suns had no official mascot but this mascot was created a few years ago by accident. A courier for Eastern Onion, a singing telegram service, came to the Coliseum during a home-game dressed as a gorilla. When he left, Coliseum Security offered to hold a couple of dances under the basket during a break, and it was loved by the fans. So did the messenger, Henry Rojas, who kept coming to the games until they officially invited him to join the squad. An earlier effort was made at a mascot in a sunflower costume but it was never commented on. Later, the Suns Gorilla is one of the most celebrated mascots on the NBA. The Gorilla's followers, dubbed "Play," are acquainted with him at court tricks where he raises the Phoenix Suns flag, performs slam dunk routines, and feeds the audience. Go has a fictional background account of coming from the Republic of Bananas and graduating at Fur-man University. Before his debut with the Phoenix Suns, the Gorilla delivered singing telegrams, before stepping onto the Suns court during a game. His antics have been a success and the Gorilla has since become a fan of the Phoenix Light. The Gorilla was popular for slapstick humor during action, such as running the stadium stairs to the Rocky album, and the dunks performed before the fourth quarter. Every first weekend of October, the Suns played an annual basketball exhibition game, the NBA Outdoors, at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California near the city of Palm Springs from 2008 until 2010. However, the team started playing the Outdoor Preseason game before the 2011–12 NBA preseason. Following a recommendation from Coachella Valley Recreation and Park District Operations Chief Craig DeWitt, the NBA played its first outdoor exhibition basketball match on 11 October 2008. The stadium facility was constructed to hold up to 15,000 spectators, primarily for tennis and music concert tournaments. The Phoenix Suns lost the game to the Denver Nuggets. A second annual outdoor exhibition game was played on 10 October 2009, this time the Suns lost to the Golden State Warriors. On 9 October 2010, the Suns beat the Dallas Mavericks in the third annual outdoor game.
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    Philadelphia 76ers

    Philadelphia 76ers

    The Philadelphia 76ers is a professional American basketball team based in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The 76ers are participating as a member of the National Basketball Association's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division league, and playing at the Wells Fargo Arena. Established in 1946, and originally known as the Syracuse Nationals, they are one of the oldest teams in the NBA and one of the 8 to survive the league's first decade. Having played for the team many of the greatest players in NBA history including Wilt Chamberlain, Dolph Schayes, Hal Greer, Billy Cunningham, Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Charles Barkley, and Allen Iverson, the 76ers have had a prominent experience. They won three NBA championships, with a first stint as the Syracuse Nationals in 1955. The 2nd title came in 1967, a team led by Chamberlain. The third title came in 1983 and was won by a team led by Erving and Malone. Since then the 76ers have returned only once to the NBA Finals: in 2001, where they were led by Iverson and lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in five rounds. In 1946, a $5,000 check was sent by Italian immigrant Daniel Biasone to the National Basketball League headquarters in Chicago, and the Syracuse Nationals became the easternmost team of the primarily Midwest-based league, headquartered of Upstate New York City, Syracuse. In the same year, the Syracuse Nationals started playing in the NBL whose professional basketball slowly acquired some popularity from America's rival Basketball League, based in major cities like New York and Philadelphia. While the Nationals posted a record of 21–23 in the NBL with teams composed mainly of small Midwestern cities, finishing in fourth place. The fellow upstate neighbor Rochester Royals will beat the Nationals in four rounds of the playoffs. With the NBA struggling financially and down to only 8 Nationals teams owner during the 1954–55 season, Biasone recommended that the league minimize the amount of time taken for a shot thereby speeding up a game that ended often with lengthy periods of teams having just the ball and playing keep away. Ferris, the Biasone and Nationals general manager, projected a 24-second shot clock allowing at least 30 shots per quarter to intensify the game and increase scoring. The Shot Clock was an instant success as high scoring was 14 points per game competition. The Nationals will take first place in the East in the shot clock's first season, with a 43–29 record. Following a first round bye, the Nationals must top the Celtics in four games to get to the NBA Finals for the second straight season. The Nationals will take home the first two games against the Fort Wayne Pistons to a fast start in the series, led by forward Schayes. However, when the series changed to Fort Wayne winning all three games to take a 3–2 series lead, the Pistons would burst back into life again. Still on the Nationals in Syracuse for Game 6, hopes of the championship were kept alive by smashing the 109–104 Pistons to force a seventh home game. Game 7 is going to be as close as the series as George King in the final seconds sunk off a free throw to send the Nationals a 92–91 lead. King would then block an inbound pass to secure the NBA Championship for the nationals. Charles Barkley arrived in Philadelphia for the 1984–85 season after a losing 1983–84 season that began in the first round of the playoffs with a five-game defeat to the upstart New Jersey Nets. Barkley has brought the Philadelphia fans happiness for the next eight seasons, due to his amusing and sometimes controversial ways. The Sixers qualified to the Eastern Conference Finals in Barkley's rookie season but lost to the Boston Celtics in 5 rounds. As it turns out they would never travel as much again during Barkley's time in Philadelphia. After the 1984–85 season, Matt Guokas had replaced Billy Cunningham as head trainer. Guokas led the 76ers to a record of 54–28, and the second round of playoffs in 1986 where they were defeated by the Milwaukee Bucks in seven rounds.